03. The second challenge 
of Christ

Ascended Master Jesus through Kim Michaels.

 

Have you ever considered how often you force yourself to do, say, feel or think things in order to fit into society, in order to accommodate some kind of standard put upon you from outside yourself? Have you ever considered that as you grow up, you are conditioned – programmed, brainwashed – to accept many things that are norms in your society without ever questioning them? Have you ever considered that you do many things simply because they are a tradition in your society, and perhaps no one has ever considered whether they are actually necessary? Everyone keeps doing them because everyone has always been doing them. Have you ever considered that some people live their entire lives by following the norms of their society – in anything from religion to fashion – and they never actually have an original thought or make their own decisions?

Well, the fact that you are studying this course indicates that you have considered such things and that you are willing to look for a better way of doing things. You have – at some level of your being – realized, at least sensed, that there must be more to life than what you experience right now. You sense that there must be an alternative, a more abundant form of life, and you are reading this book with the hope that it can help you manifest that more abundant life—however you conceive of it right now. This longing for something more, this inability to be satisfied by doing things the way they have always been done, demonstrates something very important. It demonstrates the very mechanism, the saving grace, that makes it possible for people to escape the condition of spiritual death. It also holds the key to understanding how to overcome the second challenge of Christ.

Let us first look at a question that follows my description of the state of spiritual death. I have explained that this condition forms a closed loop, a mental box from which there seems to be no escape, because the box itself prevents people from seeing that there is something outside the box. I have said that the Living Christ comes into this world in order to demonstrate that there is indeed a higher, more spiritual, form of life. Yet I have also said that people who are completely blind cannot recognize the Christ. So if there was no saving grace, if there was no mechanism that provided a way out of the closed box, how could anyone ever escape?

The mechanism that is the saving grace is precisely the inner, intuitive sense that there must be something more to life than what you experience inside the box—be it the box of your society or the box of your own mind. This sense is built into your innermost being, and the reason for this is that your true being is an extension of God’s own Being. This is even confirmed by the Bible:

 

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the Earth. 

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth. (Genesis, Chapter 1)

 

The fact that your inner being is created after the image and likeness of your Creator – who is beyond this material world – means that you can never totally lose your longing for something beyond this world. You can forget this longing for a time, either by focusing on the endless pursuit of the things of this world, or because you think you belong to an outer religion and your salvation is guaranteed. Yet at some point you will inevitably feel an inner sense of emptiness, a longing for something more: 

 

2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 

3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? (Ecclesiastes, Chapter 1)

 

For a long time, people can fall under the temptation that the devil presented to me after my fasting in the wilderness:

 

8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 

9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew, Chapter 4)

 

The devil can be seen as a symbol for the appearances of this world and the temptation to seek to gain some kind of ultimate state in this world, be it power, possessions, pleasure, fame, security or whatever this world has to offer. For a very long time, people can be completely absorbed by such pursuits, and thus they will reject the Living Christ who comes to show them that there is a more abundant form of life than what this world has to offer. Yet at some point in time, a lifestream will begin to sense that there is something more than what this world has to offer and that this world cannot give you what you long for in your innermost being. You will begin to sense the truth in my words: 

 

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 

37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark, Chapter 8)

 

When a person begins to become aware of this inner longing for something beyond this world, the person now becomes open to passing the first challenge of Christ, namely to consciously recognize that there is a higher form of life. Thus, such a person can now recognize the Living Christ. The recognition that it is possible for the Living Christ to enter this world can give rise to the awareness that:

  • I am lacking, there is something I do not have. I do not have the fullness of spiritual life that I see in the Christ, and I want it. 
  • I need to overcome the state of spiritual death, and I cannot do that on my own. I need something from the Living Christ in order to rise beyond death.

This can then give rise to the desire to follow the Living Christ, to become a disciple of Christ, in order to receive from Christ what you recognize you need. However, here is where we run into an absolutely essential consideration, and unfortunately most people – be they Christians or not – have not understood this problem, which is why it prevents them from truly making spiritual progress, from truly following Christ.

***

As I said in the beginning of this chapter, there are two forces that pull on your conscious mind. One is the force that pulls you into conforming to the conditions in this world and the other is the force that pulls you beyond this world. We might call them the material force and the spiritual force, or, in a traditional Christian vernacular, anti-christ and Christ.

If you are completely blinded by the force of anti-christ, you cannot even recognize the force of Christ. So the fact that you are a religious person or a spiritual seeker shows that you have started escaping the control of the worldly force. Yet this does not mean that you are completely free from its control. It should be a cause of humility for Christians that God allowed me to be tempted by the devil. The lesson is that all people are being tempted by the devil, or rather by the force that seeks to pull you into conforming to this world rather than rising above this world. Thus, you should realize that by facing the temptations of the devil, I demonstrated the temptations all people must face in order to follow Christ and escape the pull of this world. And this temptation will remain – in some form and with varying intensity and subtlety – as long as you are in a physical body.

Do you see what I am saying here? I have said that the condition of spiritual death forms a self-reinforcing condition because it pulls you into conforming to a set of illusions that blind you to the spiritual reality. So the forces of this world – the devil, the consciousness of death, the mass consciousness, your ego – pull you into conforming to a false image, a graven image, of who you are and what you can and cannot be. The very essence of the consciousness of spiritual death is that it has set up a graven image that obscures the one true God, and this image prevents people from seeing beyond the image. As the Bible says, you are created in the image of God and you are here to have dominion over the Earth. Yet the force of anti-christ creates a graven image, which says you are not the offspring of God and that you cannot take dominion over this planet—for the devil wants that dominion for himself.

How can you escape the catch-22? By coming to the point of realizing the truth I stated earlier, namely that the things of this world are vanity and that it does you no good to gain the whole world but lose your soul. What will it take for you to come to that point? It can happen through an inner realization – an intuitive or “Aha experience” – or by attending the school of hard knocks. In this school it is simply a question of how hard the knocks have to become before you begin to consciously acknowledge that there must be a better way to live, that there must be something beyond this world.

When you begin to escape the blinding force of the graven image, you begin to realize that there is something beyond the graven image—and this is what allows you to recognize the Living Christ. Yet this does not mean that you are completely free from the graven image. In fact, the interim period I talked about earlier is precisely a period where you still have graven images in your mind, and you are not completely free of them. The absolutely essential question now becomes whether you will be willing to let the Living Christ pull you – perhaps kicking and screaming if necessary – beyond all of your graven images or whether you will seek to impose some of those images upon the Living Christ and the path Christ offers?

In other words, will you follow the true path that is offered by the Living Christ, or will you follow the false path that is offered by the prince of this world and the blind leaders of this world? Take another look at my words:

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew, Chapter 7)

 

The straight and narrow path offered by the Living Christ is the path of overcoming all of the graven images – the beams – in your mind. In contrast, the broad way that leads to destruction is the path of recognizing that you have a need for salvation, recognizing the Living Christ, but then imposing a graven image upon the Living Christ and the path he offers. Thus, instead of seeing and following the true path, you enter the false path while actually being convinced that you are following the true path! The true path is about overcoming graven images, the false path is based on graven images and elevates some of them to the status of infallibility, meaning you never question them.

So instead of allowing the Living Christ to take you beyond the consciousness of death, you have used the Living Christ – or rather your dualistic image of the Christ – to create a false path. This false path offers you salvation, but it offers you an external salvation that makes it seem like you do not have to remove the beam in your own eye. In reality, this false path offers you the promise that you can attain eternal life without overcoming the consciousness of death and removing all of the graven images that spring from the consciousness of death. Look at the words that follow the above quote:

 

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 

 

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew, Chapter 7)

 

Why do you think I found it necessary to be so detailed and direct in warning people about the false path? Could it be because I was well aware that many of the people, who come to the realization that they need to be saved, are misled into following a false path that cannot lead them to salvation? Why do you think I was opposed by the scribes and Pharisees? Why do you think they could not recognize me as the Living Christ? It was because they were following the false path while being completely convinced that they would be saved. In other words, they had passed the first hurdle of recognizing that they needed to be saved, yet they had become trapped by the false path that makes people think they can be saved without truly following the Living Christ all the way, without letting go of their graven images.

Many modern Christians are trapped in the very consciousness I spoke about when I said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” They claim to be following Christ, but they are following the false path, the outer path, that is based on a graven image of Christ. Although they constantly proclaim my name before men, they are actually denying the Living Christ before men – by professing a dead Christ – and thus I have no other option but to deny them before the Father.

I know that the point I am making here can be quite subtle and difficult to understand for many people. The best proof of this is that I have to make this point and that it has not been preached clearly by a single Christian church over the past 2,000 years. So in order to help people understand this crucial point, I will explain it from several different perspectives. You might think you have understood my point, but I caution you against this idea. Be willing to follow me as I expose the topic from different vantage points.

 

NOTE: The rest of this dictation is available in the book: Master Keys to Personal Christhoood.

 

 

Copyright © 2008 Kim Michaels

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